Acknowledgements (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)

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Bekele-Tesemma, Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia, 2007
Acknowledgements (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)


This book is a revised version of Useful Trees and Shrubs of Ethiopia: Identification, propagation and management for pastoral and agropastoral communities, published in 1993 as Technical Handbook No. 35 in a series developed by the Regional land Management Unit (RELMA). Various institutions and many individuals made significant contributions to both versions. It is not possible to name each one of them, but we thank them all for their invaluable contributions.

During the production of the first version in 1993, I was unable able to travel to Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz administrative regions for logistical reasons. It was not also possible for me to go to the Semen mountains of the Amhara Regional State and the Tigray Highlands because these areas were conflict zones in the fighting between Tigray People’s Liberation Front and Ethiopia’s former socialist government. Since the study did not cover these areas, it missed six important agroclimatic zones and an equal number of important vernacular languages. It also left out 21 important species.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Bureaus of Agriculture and Rural Development of the two Regional State Governments for organizing all the logistics that were required to make this additional study possible, and RELMA for financing the project.

At the onset of the study for this revised edition, RELMA conducted a readers’ survey that yielded valuable feedback on the first book. The survey confirmed the publication as one of the most used reference books in the fields of agriculture and forestry. The readers appreciated the utility of the book and recommended several changes to make it even more useful.

Readers recommended that each species be classified by agroclimatic zones. They also wanted colour photos used and additional information on certain species and updated illustrations. Some of the readers recommended that the information be presented in a way that would make the book useful to other countries in the region. All these recommendations have been addressed in this revised edition. For instance, classification by agroclimatic zones makes the information applicable outside Ethiopia.

I would like to thank the management of RELMA in ICRAF project for allowing me to undertake research for this book and for financing its production.

Some of the drawings taken from the first version were drawn anew. We in the RELMA in ICRAF project are grateful to the illustrators and all those who allowed us to reuse various illustrations. We are especially grateful to Luise Gull for the drawing of Ficus carica, and the Oklahoma State University, Department of Agricultural Communications (indicated by ‘O’ in the credits for illustrations) for allowing us to use illustrations of Discopodium penninervum, Erica arborea, Hypericum quartinianum, H. revolutum, H. roeperianum, Maesa lanceolata, Pittosporum viridiflorum, Rhoicissus tridentata, Salix mucronata (S. subserrata), Schefflera abyssinica, Steganotaenia araliacea, Tamarix aphylla, and Woodfordia uniflora. These drawings first appeared in Families of Flowering Plants in Ethiopia by W. C. Burger (Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin No. 45, O. S. U. Press, Stillwater, Oklahoma 1967).

Some of the drawings from Plants of Zanzibar and Pemba by R. O. Williams (Z), and from Kenya Trees and Shrubs by I. R. Dale and P. J. Greenway (D G) used in the first edition of also appear in this revised version. The copyright for these illustrations still rests with the original publishers. Several original illustrations have been prepared for this version, many based on specimen from East African Herbarium in Nairobi. We acknowledge the assistance of the head of the herbarium, Dr. Siro Masinde, and other staff, particularly Mr. Geoffrey Mwachala, Mr. Geoffrey Mungai, Mr. A. F. Odhiambo and Ms. Brenda Nyaboke. We thank the herbarium for permission to photograph many of the dried specimens that are used in this book. A few more were photographed by Dr. Ensermu Kelbesa of Addis Ababa University Herbarium. We are grateful for the assistance.

Many thanks also go to Mr. Patrick Maundu of Bioversity International, Nairobi, who provided some of the photographs and to Dr. Tadesse Wolde Mariam Gole for the photograph of Aloe vera.

Dr. Mike Gilbert, Dr. J. B. Gillett and Dr. Mesfin Tadesse, the Ethiopia Liaison Botanist of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Dr. Inga Hedberg of Uppsala gave invaluable help in resolving some taxonomic problems in the first edition.

I also would like to thank Professor Sebsibe Demisew and Dr. Ensermu Kelbesa of the Addis Ababa University, who are the technical editors of this revised edition, and to Mr. Bo Tengnäs, advisor in the first edition and co-editor of the second version. Mr. Maundu also made significant editorial contributions.

The technical content of this book was developed through numerous discussions with farmers, pastoralists and many professionals in the field of multipurpose trees and shrubs in eastern Africa. Without the contribution of local knowledge and experience gained over the many years from rural communities, the content of this book would not be as extensive as it is.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge that no publication of this nature can be correct in every detail. The responsibility for any remaining errors or weaknesses rests entirely with me. I request readers to make use of the feedback form at the end of the book to correct any errors or to provide me with information on the content of this book.

Azene Bekele-Tesemma, PhD

Capacity Building Advisor, Eastern Africa Region, ICRAF